Hi my friends & family! Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I'm here today asking for your help in order to take a life changing step in my fight against Type 1 Diabetes.
It was hot that day. The end of July I believe, my family and I were at a NASCAR race in NH. The stands were packed as the cars drove in circles. Left turn after left turn, only making the summer sun and the metal bleachers even hotter. I remember being excited, but not feeling my self. I was getting annoyed-and so was my mom, because it seemed I had to get up to use the bathroom every 20 minutes. We thought nothing of it at the time, "maybe too much Gatorade," my mom said. I remember the cars zooming past us at over 150 mph being so loud. You could barely hear the person next to you. But despite the heat and extreme noise, I fell asleep. That's when my mom knew something was wrong.
Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. (Mayo Clinic)
Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms can appear relatively suddenly and may include:
Bed-wetting in children
Unintended weight loss
Irritability and mood changes
Fatigue and weakness
When we got home, I went to the doctors. My mom, although I think she already had an idea of what we were about to find out, described my symptoms. No shots, no tests, no x-rays, I simply peed in a cup. Two minutes later my life changed forever- I was 13.
I spent the next week at Boston Children's Hospital where I learned how to be a Diabetic.
Today, I am 30 and have been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 17 years! Syringes and shots 3-5 times a day- every day. That's over 31,000 shots, not to mention blood sugar checks!
But that's not the way I have to live anymore! I have made the decision to go on the "pump". This is a different form of insulin delivery that allows for much better control of my blood sugars and more freedom for an active and flexible lifestyle. I will be honest and tell you my blood sugars aren't always the best. In fact, most days are a struggle to get one blood sugar reading in my target range (80-130). My current A1c-the 3 month average of my sugars- is at 10.9. This is extremely high, as it should be 7 or below. I do what I can. I eat healthy, I exercise, I take my insulin as the Dr. tells me to. But its never enough. I'm tired. Tired because diabetes makes me tired, tired because I try and try and it never gets better or easier. But now it can, with the pump.
As with most medicine and medical equipment, it comes down to insurance, and long story short, my insurance will not cover the pump in full leaving me with the remainder of the cost. This pump will change my life in a way I never thought possible. Think of it as an artificial pancreas! This will help to significantly reduce my risk of future complications such as; kidney and liver failure, heart disease, blindness and amputation. It's scary, but that's Diabetes. I didn't have a choice to get Diabetes, but with your help, I have the choice to live my best life with it.
Thank you so much for your support!
Learn more about Type 1 Diabetes here!
See what the pump looks like and how it works here!
Help end Type 1 Diabetes!
- Heather Burns
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- Tiffany Montana